ReportersNotebook — Consumables, 8/27/12

SUPPLIER NEWS — The maker of Splenda has introduced a new zero-calorie sweetener. McNeil Nutritionals said Nectresse, made from monk fruit extract, is 100% natural. As part of the product launch, the brand has tapped journalist Lisa Ling to serve as its spokeswoman. Nectresse sweetener is available in both single-serve packets (40 servings) and canisters (140 servings) for suggested retail prices of $3.99 and $6.99, respectively.


McLane has entered into an agreement to acquire Meadowbrook Meat Co. McLane said MBM — which is one of the nation’s largest customized foodservice distributors for national restaurant chains — will continue to be led by the current executive management team and operate out of its existing facilities in the same markets.


Unilever has put its North America frozen meals business on the sales block. The company said it has signed a definitive agreement for the sale of its portfolio — which includes multiserve frozen entrees and appetizers under the Bertolli and P.F. Chang’s brands — to ConAgra Foods for a total cash consideration of $265 million. The transaction, subject to regulatory review and expected to close in third quarter 2012, includes a license for the use of the Bertolli brand name and the transfer of Unilever’s existing license with P.F. Chang’s for use of the P.F. Chang’s Home Menu brand name.